The New Museum's 'Skin Fruit'

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The New Museum launched a new exhibition series called The Imaginary Museum on March 3.

"Skin Fruit" is the name of the first show in the series, and artist Jeff Koons curated the series from the private collection of his patron and friend, Dakis Joannou. Joannou is based in Athens, Greece, and is one of the New Museum's trustees.

Some of the art world is up in arms about the new show, saying that the museum's decision to show the work of a single collector who is also a museum trustee and a friend of the curator may be a conflict of interest. Others argue that a non-profit museum should not be giving up public museum space to a private collection. The museum declined WNYC's request for an interview, but the museum's director, Lisa Phillips, said in an earlier statement that it just wants to show the public one of the most important collections in the early art world.

In this week's Arts File on WQXR, Lee Rosenbaum, a culture critic at The Wall Street Journal who also blogs about art as CultureGrrl at ArtsJournal.com, tells WNYC's Kerry Nolan what she thinks about these issues and gives us her first impressions of "Skin Fruit."

For more on the relationship between private collectors, art museums and the public, head to a symposium at the New Museum on Saturday, March 13 at 12:30 PM. Click here to learn more about the New Museum's event.

Untitled, 2009. Beeswax, cotton, leather, aluminum, pull tabs, human hair, and oil paint, 28 x 22 19 3/4 in. The Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens
Untitled, 2009. Beeswax, cotton, leather, aluminum, pull tabs, human hair, and oil paint, 28 x 22 19 3/4 in. The Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens ( by Robert Gober; Photo courtesy of the New Museum )
The Giant, 2006. Foam, resin, paint, fake hair, wood, glass, decorative acorns, taxidermy of three fox squirrels, and taxidermy of four grey squirrels, The Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens
The Giant, 2006. Foam, resin, paint, fake hair, wood, glass, decorative acorns, taxidermy of three fox squirrels, and taxidermy of four grey squirrels, The Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens ( by David Altmejd; Photo courtesy of the New Museum )
Saddle, 2000. Full rawhide, 25 1/2 x 32 1/2 x 78 1/2 in. The Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens
Saddle, 2000. Full rawhide, 25 1/2 x 32 1/2 x 78 1/2 in. The Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens ( by Janine Antoni; Photo courtesy of the New Museum )
All, 2007. White Carrara marble 9 parts, 11 7/8 x 78 3/4 x 339 1/2 in. The Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens
All, 2007. White Carrara marble 9 parts, 11 7/8 x 78 3/4 x 339 1/2 in. The Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens ( by Maurizio Cattelan; Photo courtesy of the New Museum )
One Ball Total Equilibrium Tank, 1985. Glass, iron, water, and basketball, 64 1/2 x 30 1/2 x 13 1/4 in. The Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens
One Ball Total Equilibrium Tank, 1985. Glass, iron, water, and basketball, 64 1/2 x 30 1/2 x 13 1/4 in. The Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens ( by Jeff Koons; Photo courtesy of the New Museum )
Untitled (Chocolate Mountains), 2006. Styrofoam, fiberglass, and white chocolate icing, 141 3/4 x 70 7/8 in. The Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens
Untitled (Chocolate Mountains), 2006. Styrofoam, fiberglass, and white chocolate icing, 141 3/4 x 70 7/8 in. The Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens ( by Terence Koh; Photo courtesy of the New Museum )
Nomo, 2009.  Metal, wood, sponge, old clothes, ski boots, and gold paint, approximately 90 1/2 x 27 1/2 x 27 1/2 in. The Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens
Nomo, 2009. Metal, wood, sponge, old clothes, ski boots, and gold paint, approximately 90 1/2 x 27 1/2 x 27 1/2 in. The Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens ( by PaweĊ‚ Althamer; Photo courtesy of the New Museum )
Paula Jones, 2007. Fiberglass, 82 x 57 1/2 x 107 in. The Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens
Paula Jones, 2007. Fiberglass, 82 x 57 1/2 x 107 in. The Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens ( by Paul McCarthy; Photo courtesy of the New Museum )
Aluminum Girl, 2003. Aluminum and paint, 62 1/2 x 18 1/2 x 11 1/2 in. The Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens
Aluminum Girl, 2003. Aluminum and paint, 62 1/2 x 18 1/2 x 11 1/2 in. The Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens ( by Charles Ray; Photo courtesy of the New Museum )
Sneakers 1, 2008. Wax figure, aluminum casted table and palett, Akrystal board, and ceramic shoes, 59 x 72 7/8 x 39 3/8 in. The Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens
Sneakers 1, 2008. Wax figure, aluminum casted table and palett, Akrystal board, and ceramic shoes, 59 x 72 7/8 x 39 3/8 in. The Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens ( by Andro Wekua; Photo courtesy of the New Museum )
A view of pieces installed in the Skin Fruit exhibit at the New Museum
A view of pieces installed in the Skin Fruit exhibit at the New Museum ( Photo courtesy of the New Museum )
Andro Wekua: Wait to Wait, 2006. Skin Fruit. Selections from the Dakis Joannou Collection. Curated by Jeff Koons. New Museum, New York.
Andro Wekua: Wait to Wait, 2006. Skin Fruit. Selections from the Dakis Joannou Collection. Curated by Jeff Koons. New Museum, New York. ( VernissageTV Didier Didier )
Liza Lou: Super Sister, 1999. Skin Fruit. Selections from the Dakis Joannou Collection. Curated by Jeff Koons. New Museum, New York.
Liza Lou: Super Sister, 1999. Skin Fruit. Selections from the Dakis Joannou Collection. Curated by Jeff Koons. New Museum, New York. ( VernissageTV Didier Didier )
Pawel Althamer: Schedule of the Crucifix, 2005. Skin Fruit. Selections from the Dakis Joannou Collection. Curated by Jeff Koons. New Museum, New York
Pawel Althamer: Schedule of the Crucifix, 2005. Skin Fruit. Selections from the Dakis Joannou Collection. Curated by Jeff Koons. New Museum, New York ( VernissageTV Didier Didier )
Tim Noble & Sue Webster. Masters of the Universe, 1998-2000. Skin Fruit. Selections from the Dakis Joannou Collection. Curated by Jeff Koons. New Museum, New York.
Tim Noble & Sue Webster. Masters of the Universe, 1998-2000. Skin Fruit. Selections from the Dakis Joannou Collection. Curated by Jeff Koons. New Museum, New York. ( VernissageTV Didier Didier )
A piece from A Guest + A Host = A Ghost - Works from the Dakis Joannou Collection at DESTE Foundation in Athens
A piece from A Guest + A Host = A Ghost - Works from the Dakis Joannou Collection at DESTE Foundation in Athens ( we-make-money-not-art )
A piece from A Guest + A Host = A Ghost - Works from the Dakis Joannou Collection at DESTE Foundation in Athens
A piece from A Guest + A Host = A Ghost - Works from the Dakis Joannou Collection at DESTE Foundation in Athens ( we-make-money-not-art )
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